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FCA quality: lousy scores

Discussion in 'Mopar News and Rumors' started by valiant67, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. aldo90731

    aldo90731 Active Member Level III Supporter

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    Be careful, though. The average person knows nothing about Demon or Durango SRT, and only passingly of Hellcat; they are totally oblivious of 707 or 475 HP.

    For Dodge to change perceptions, it needs three things:
    1. Models in core segments that represent and embody the brand promise. In the US this means a midsize sedan, a compact sedan and a compact CUV. Right now, Dodge has no midsize sedan, just lost its compact sedan, and its compact CUV doesn't represent or embody the brand promise
    2. A lineup of core and peripheral models that work together to shape brand perceptions. Audi's success was in no small part due to this: everything from A3 to R10 looks, feels and behaves like an Audi inside and out. When you have everything pulling together in one direction, you avoid confusion and help crystallize your brand in consumers' minds. Dodge models, from Journey to Viper are a hodge podge of designs, segment aims and performance roles.
    3. Deliver competent levels of quality, safety and value. Dodge is not going to get traction, even if it gets models in those three segments, until it is seen to deliver on quality, safety and value. Hellcat is an impressive feat but, to the average buyer, it is irrelevant as proof of Dodge quality, safety or value. The same is true of Viper and SRT.
    There are ways for Dodge to use performance as proof of quality, safety and value, but it is not creating those connections at the moment. For instance, Audi tied attention to detail in design, craftsmanship in materials, fit and finish to quality, and German engineering and innovation to safety. Subaru tied capability and durability to safety and quality. Likewise, Dodge needs to tie performance to higher, more meaningful consumer needs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
    Citation84 and jimboy like this.
  2. BobbiBigWheels

    BobbiBigWheels I'm likely at work... Ad-Free Member

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    Shhhhhhhh. Lol. Yes it is something to consider. The 98,000kms maintenance is also $5000 CAD.

    Side note - I'm not entirely convinced that @Erik Latranyi and @aldo90731 are not the same person posting on separate accounts.
     
  3. aldo90731

    aldo90731 Active Member Level III Supporter

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    Hmmm...groupthink is not a good thing.
     
    BobbiBigWheels likes this.
  4. npaladin2000

    npaladin2000 LOAD "*",8,1 Level 2 Supporter

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    @aldo90731 I have to argue that in my opinion the midsize sedan is no longer a core segment, and compact sedan is also quickly becoming marginalized. Core segments for performance tend to be muscle cars and touring sedans (think BMW 3 and 5 series). A FWD anything is NOT going to cut it for Dodge to build on the "performance" promise (Journey included, yes it needs to go). They need Giorgio, but that's going to take some time. The wrong products, on the other hand, could really hurt the image they're trying to build for Dodge right now.

    As an example, they tried to build on the performance promise by sending a Dart to GRC to race. This experiment didn't go well. In fact, "backfire" is probably a good word. The only way the Dart was truly successful is as a checkbox so that Fiat could complete their Chrysler aquisition...so they DID need to build it. But it wasn't helping their performance image.

    Anyway, what Dodge needs is a smaller performance car. RWD or AWD. If they bring in another generic FWD econobox just to fill a checkbox, I predict bad things will happen.
     
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  5. Ian

    Ian Car Freak

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    That's why I think it was a bad decision to drop the Avenger in favor of a "mainstream" 200 where most people can see Chrysler as upscale. Same with the Grand Caravan. It takes years to change the image of a brand (performance/mainstream etc) and SM wanted this to happen quick. He wanted to shove that down the throat of the North American buying public...and that is my opinion before my head gets bitten off by saying this...
     
  6. dakota21

    dakota21 Member Supporter

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    What about a performance FWD compact like the Neon? I can see that fitting in.
     
  7. aldo90731

    aldo90731 Active Member Level III Supporter

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    We don't decide midsize and compact sedans are core segments any more than FCA decides that either, the market decides that.

    Per last count, midsize sedan, compact sedan and compact CUV were the three largest segments in terms of sales, and have been for years, accounting for nearly half of all US sales, combined. That's what makes them core segments. Not because FCA is able or unable to make a buck in them.

    There is no such thing as a "performance segment". There are midsize sedans with performance aspirations, but they have very limited appeal. Your example about Dart in GRC racing not working is good but you got it backwards: it is not that it failed because it was a sedan; it failed because performance has limited leverage in the market as a buying consideration. This is what I have been saying for years. Had Dart been seen as a credible compact sedan that delivered on quality, safety and value, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    But regardless of whether Dart had quality issues or not, there was never an attempt to communicate quality or safety because Dodge was too busy showing Dodge frat bros doing burnouts.

    Before FCA gave up on these two core segments:
    1. It needed to make sure these segments are going away for good. The jury is still out on that; we will need to see what happens in the next economic downturn.
    2. Even if compact CUV becomes the biggest selling segment, midsize and compact sedans are likely to remain 2 and 3 for years to come. Meanwhile, FCA has no presence there. They exited the segments without a transition plan to retain existing sedan owners or help them migrate into other segments.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
    Citation84, jimboy and Erik Latranyi like this.
  8. GasAxe

    GasAxe Active Member

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    I get the humor, but two people who have extensive knowledge of the automotive industry from totally different perspectives who are coming to the same conclusions is worrying. Once again, I think some of the worry springs from the lack of product and doom easily fills a void. That doesn't mean there is no new product coming or the new product is automatically garbage. The blanks are filled with best available information and past history, both of which I'd describe as distressing with moments of tremendous accomplishments.
     
  9. aldo90731

    aldo90731 Active Member Level III Supporter

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    It could work. In fact, FCA Mexico may be ahead of us: they already canned Dart and got a Turkey-built Dodge Neon instead.

    But they did it mostly because the Dodge Neon name still carries strong recognition in Mexico as a simple, solid, durable car. Not because it is a performance sedan.
     
  10. aldo90731

    aldo90731 Active Member Level III Supporter

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    The sense of doom fills in because FCA's record so far, at least in North America, is plagued with several high visibility failures, like the ongoing embarrassment of the FIAT relaunch, the incredible public admittance that Dart and 200 were "failures", the perennial placing at the bottom of the JD Power and other rankings, year after year, study after study, a CEO desperately looking for a partner, and now month after month of sales declines. Then there are less visible negative signs like significant delays in product launches, ongoing flip-flopping and last-minute decision changes, news of high debt and low cash, etc.

    There have been good news for sure, like the Hellcat and Pacifica launches, the surprising success of Cherokee sales --at least for awhile, good reviews of Durango and Rams. But when you compare what has gone well with what didn't, the size of the bloopers have been just massive.
     
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  11. npaladin2000

    npaladin2000 LOAD "*",8,1 Level 2 Supporter

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    It would be nice if they got the good things right and just skipped the bloopers, true. But somehow I just think it wouldn't be the same Mopar without at least a few bloopers.
     
  12. 97 plymouth neon expresso

    97 plymouth neon expresso Member

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    $5000.00 !?! What does that service consist of?
     
    UN4GTBL likes this.
  13. aldo90731

    aldo90731 Active Member Level III Supporter

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    Not sure these massive bloopers are coming from the Mopar lineage as much as the FIAT lineage.

    Like I mentioned before: I am no Lido fan but he would never have tossed two perfectly competent vehicles in the trash. He would have added padded roofs, wire wheel covers, wood panels, chrome grilles, AMC Eagle badges, appear on TV, do whatever it took to sell them, and he would not have given up until they sold in decent numbers. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  14. npaladin2000

    npaladin2000 LOAD "*",8,1 Level 2 Supporter

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    You forgot the Rich Corinthian Leather (TM). :)
     
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  15. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Member

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    If we knew all the financial aspects of the manufacture of these cars, then it would be easier cheer or criticize. If these cars were big money losers, then he was probably right to discontinue. However, if you use Lee's methods, then stretch the 200 a bit make more room in the back and build it in Toluca. It amazes me how much smaller the 200 is compared to let's say a Passat.